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Author Topic: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?  (Read 2581 times)

kbfeip

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Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« on: July 03, 2007, 01:12:24 PM »
Every time I travel, I retorque my 1/" lug nuts to 100 lb. ft.

The trailer manual says spec is 110 - 120 lb. ft., but America's tire says 80 lb. ft. of torque is plenty on a 1/2" lug nut, use 100 lb. ft. maximum if desired.

Which is correct as to torque spec to use?

Why do the lug nuts require so much frequent attention vs. say, automotive lug nuts?

They do seem to loosen, but only a very small amount.


Kurt

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2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 2 Quad Cab Hemi 20" OEM Wheels 3.92:1
2006 Zeppelin Z303

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Ron

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 02:24:34 PM »
I think I would go with the manufacturers advise.  If the lug nuts are continually loosening up and you are not tightening to the manufactures spec then that may be your problem.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

kbfeip

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 02:57:56 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

Aftermarket chrome rims were purchased from America's tire.  (Pimpin' out the travel trailer...ya know  :-)

America's tire cautioned to torque to 80 lb. ft., stating that 110 - 120 lb. ft. was too much and might snap 1/2" lugs.

I've been torquing to 100 lb. ft., with some very slight loosening of a few lugs after each trip. 

I'm hoping to learn if it's common for the lugs to loosen a bit, and for feedback on the actual torque required for 1/2" lugs.



Kurt

Class A Convert: 

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 2 Quad Cab Hemi 20" OEM Wheels 3.92:1
2006 Zeppelin Z303

Lovin' it so far!

Carl L

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2007, 03:25:55 PM »
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Why do the lug nuts require so much frequent attention vs. say, automotive lug nuts?

Next time you are excuting a hard 90 turn on pavement, glance at the trailer wheels on the inside of your turn.   You will see the wheels assuming all sorts of strange positive and negative camber angles.   That is normal for 2 or 3 dead axle setups.  Eventually that will loosen stuff up.   
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

kbfeip

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2007, 03:55:20 PM »
Interesting....

I don't think that I would have attributed that to the cause.  I would have likely assumed vibration or heavy bounce/impact loads.

So....everyone's lugs loosen a bit as a normal occurance?    :)
Kurt

Class A Convert: 

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 2 Quad Cab Hemi 20" OEM Wheels 3.92:1
2006 Zeppelin Z303

Lovin' it so far!

Carl L

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2007, 10:29:52 PM »
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So....everyone's lugs loosen a bit as a normal occurance?

After the first 500-1000 miles less so, but they are still worth checking, say once every couple of trips.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Itchyfeet

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2007, 04:09:49 PM »
I know this is probably a silly question, but did you check to make sure the new wheels are rated for the weight of your trailer?
Ray

kbfeip

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2007, 04:21:16 PM »
A good question....actually.

Yes, thanks.   The trailer is an ultra-light weight.  And the wheels are standard industry trailer wheels of proper rating.

This morning before returning home I retorqued again to 100 lb. ft.  Only a smidge of rotation on about half of the lugs before a click on my torque wrench. 

I'm thinking of going up to 110 lb. ft. next time.
Kurt

Class A Convert: 

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 2 Quad Cab Hemi 20" OEM Wheels 3.92:1
2006 Zeppelin Z303

Lovin' it so far!

Karl

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2007, 07:10:55 PM »
There are actually two types of wheel/rim mounting/centering methods. One uses tapered lug nuts to center the wheel, while the other uses the center hub to center the inner shoulder of the wheel on the hub. If you are using non-tapered lug nuts and the diameter of the hub and center hole of the wheel are not very close to the same diameter, loosening may occur during normal driving. Make sure you are using the correct lug nuts, and also make sure the hub and inside wheel diameters are proper. You may find that the wheel, even when torqued properly, is still sitting a small distance form the center hub because the inside diameter of the wheel is too small to fit properly onto the hub - not good. Once properly torqued, it is not normal for them to loosen at all if those two things are correct.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

kbfeip

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 07:42:01 PM »
Thanks for the reply Karl

The lugs are tapered, and I'm torquing in a typical star pattern.  When I say they loosen, I'm talking about a very small amount of rotation that takes place when I re-torque, as in just a few degrees.

Carl L. says that this occurs less after 500 - 1000 miles or so, and I suspect that I'm only approaching the 500 mile mark at this point.

I intend to contact Keystone for their advice on the matter, and discuss further with America's tire also.
Kurt

Class A Convert: 

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4 X 2 Quad Cab Hemi 20" OEM Wheels 3.92:1
2006 Zeppelin Z303

Lovin' it so far!

Karl

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2007, 07:02:13 AM »
Kurt,
I believe that what 'The Other Carl' was saying was that after initial installation of the wheels, they must be re-torqued at 500-1000 miles. After that, they shouldn't need to be re-torqued unless the wheel has been removed and replaced. Another, but remote, possibility is that there is a small (few 1/1000'ths inch) rust build-up on the face of the rotor or drum face. If that's the case, wire brushing or sanding to remove it may help. That said, if it's only a couple of degrees, I wouldn't even worry about it. Adjustable torque wrenches are not exactly precision instruments - as you well know. ;)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

The Sofa King

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2007, 08:09:50 AM »
i always put a drop (just 1 drop) of the semi permanent  locktite on all my trailer wheel lugs and torque to 90 flbs.. makes em a bitch to get off but i have never had one loosen up..
Mike, Jenine, Owen, Ryan, and our Boxer Maggie

Carl L

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Re: Why do trailer lug nuts loosen?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2007, 04:46:37 PM »
Quote
I believe that what 'The Other Carl' was saying was that after initial installation of the wheels, they must be re-torqued at 500-1000 miles. After that, they shouldn't need to be re-torqued unless the wheel has been removed and replaced.


Actually what the only Carl,  ;D,  said was they will need re-torqueing after 500-1000 miles, but they should be checked occasionally after that.   I have had wheel nuts that moved when checked thousands of milies onwards.

A cheap clicker torque wrench makes the job quick. 
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco